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Rackspace Provides Clouds That Comply With EC Laws

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Rackspace Hosting has extended its European base in the UK with new cloud services

Rackspace Hosting has established two new cloud offerings at its European base in the UK to ease problems with local hosting regulations.

The latest platforms for Cloud Files and Cloud Servers run as pay-as-you-go services for its European customers. The company claims that it already has over 500 customers in beta.

Local Application Servers And Storage

Cloud Files offers scalable remote storage for backups, video files or simply for static storage. Cloud Servers provides application-serving platforms based on the Xen hypervisor. Underlying operating systems include Windows and a selection of Linux distributions, the company said.

“Our US-based Rackspace cloud has already been hugely successful, with over 100,000 customers, globally now taking advantage of our hosted cloud services,” said Lanham Napier, president and CEO of Rackspace. “Due to storage regulations set out under European law, many UK companies are restricted from using cloud. Our UK offering allows companies to avoid offshore data issues and weighty, upfront capital investments which helps them to become more strategically agile from a business perspective.”

Rackspace donated the source code for Cloud Files and Cloud Servers to OpenStack as part of its effort to drive open cloud standards. The Files storage system actually runs on OpenStack’s Open Storage. The company said that its aim is to ensure its customers are not locked in to proprietary cloud software.

Cloud Servers can be used to provide instant compute power when needed. It can host just one or dozens of applications, the company claims, and serve them in a flexible and efficient way.

Servers can be accessed using full root access through either the Rackspace Cloud control panel or the service’s application programming interface (API). This also means that third-party management tools, such as those from RightScale or Rackspace’s own subsidiary Cloudkick, can be connected in.

Napier said that he sees the use of Cloud being important to the straitened European market and that, with analysts predicting that 20 percent of organisations will not own an in- house IT infrastructure by 2012, he expects to see a healthy growth in the Cloud market.

“If customers on the cloud no longer need resources, they stop using them and almost immediately stop paying for them. This will be critical to companies still fighting to cut costs from their budgets, and will allow them to control spending more tightly than ever before.

“The Rackspace European cloud brings with it reduced latency for those customers and eradicates concerns over currency fluctuations and European data legislation compliance,” he said.